Hon. Ravi Kahlon
Minister of Housing and Government House Leader
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
Dear Minister Kahlon,
On behalf of the Official Opposition Caucus, I wanted to follow up on a question that you took on notice on May 4, 2023, with a commitment to report back to the House regarding the residence and travel costs of the Vancouver-West End MLA.
As you will know, MLAs are ineligible to claim mileage from their secondary residence to the Legislature and can only claim mileage from their primary residence. As MLA Chandra-Herbert has claimed mileage several times between his Colwood home and the Legislature it is evident that he considers his Colwood residence his primary residence.
In addition, MLA Chandra-Herbert has listed his Colwood home as his principal residence in his public disclosure forms since 2020. His only City of Vancouver residence is an investment property he receives rental income from.
However, while claiming his Colwood home as his primary residence for travel expense claims, MLA Chandra-Herbert is also claiming the Capital City Living Allowance that provides funds for a Member living outside the CRD to have a secondary temporary accommodation while serving as an MLA.
So which one is it? Is he improperly charging travel expense or improperly collecting the Capital City Living Allowance?
We also would like clarification regarding the Members’ Guide to Policy and Resources regarding per diems that stipulates that mileage between the Member’s home and primary constituency office must not be claimed. As MLA Chandra-Herbert has claimed airfare between his primary residence and his primary constituency office multiple times, would you agree he is in violation of this guideline?
On the other hand, in response to our question on May 4, 2023, MLA Chandra-Herbert stated to reporters that he lived in Vancouver. Matt Hannah in the Premier’s Office also claimed that MLA Chandra-Herbert’s primary residence was Vancouver. If Vancouver is his primary residence, is he claiming the Homeowner Grant and or/primary residence exemption from the speculation tax for his Colwood residence?
One determinant would be to advise where MLA Chandra-Herbert was a registered voter in the 2020 provincial election, 2022 municipal election and where he is currently registered to vote. Another way would be for MLA Chandra-Herbert to release what address is associated with his mot recent tax filing.
We look forward to your attention to this matter and clearing up the inconsistencies regarding MLA Chandra-Herbert’s expense claims and other residency claims.
MLA Kamloops-South Thompson
BC United House Leader
Shadow Minister for Jobs
cc: Hon. Raj Chouhan, Speaker of the Legislature
Adam Olson, House Leader, Third Party
Kate Ryan-Lloyd, Clerk of the Legislature